Learn how to make easy make-ahead mashed potatoes in the crock pot and take the stress out of holiday meal prep. It’s a snap when you know the simple steps and ingredients. How many times have you witnessed the potatoes being mashed at the last minute before a holiday meal begins? It’s crazy, hot, sweaty work, and can easily be avoided. Can mashed potatoes be prepared in advance? Can you make mashed potatoes ahead of time? Yes! The secret is knowing what to mix with them to keep them smooth and creamy. Get the amazing strategies right here with this easy make-ahead mashed potato recipe. Avoid stress and try make ahead mashed potatoes crock pot style!
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My Make Ahead Crockpot Mashed Potatoes Backstory
When I married into my husband’s large family, I had no idea they were on the lookout for someone to be the designated mashed potato maker for their gatherings. When they found out I love to eat mashed potatoes, my fate was sealed. I envisioned a future of sweaty, last-minute potato-mashing sessions in order to keep the side dish hot when the meal was served. I was secretly dismayed, but my dismay turned to joy when I found a recipe for make-ahead mashed potatoes in The Oregonian newspaper. Over the years, I’ve tweaked the recipe to suit my needs and made it even more convenient. For those of you who can relate to the last-minute potato-mashing frenzy of holiday meals, help is on the way!
***Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.*** Already know what you’d like to get from Amazon? Here’s a handy way to get to the website, linked to a 6-quart crockpot, perfect for this recipe. Just click on the link, then browse around and do your shopping.
Ingredients for Crockpot Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
With a little sour cream, cream cheese, and a few other ingredients, these easy make-ahead mashed potatoes can be yours. The flavor is outstanding, and the smooth creaminess can’t be beaten. When you put that container of make-ahead mashed potatoes in the refrigerator, you will feel as if you have really accomplished something. It’s a good feeling to know that you have taken care of at least one part of your meal ahead of time. Here are the simple ingredients.
5 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered ( I often use the red potatoes and skip the peeling!)
6 ounces light cream cheese
1 cup light sour cream
2 teaspoons onion powder (I use garlic powder instead.)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 egg whites, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
Directions for Crockpot Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and mash using your favorite added ingredients. Some people add milk, some add chicken stock. I like to reserve the potato water and put in powdered, fat-free milk. When there are no remaining lumps, add cream cheese, sour cream, onion powder or garlic powder, salt, pepper and egg whites. Blend well.
Grease a 6-quart crock pot or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add potato mixture. Dot with butter or margarine. Cool slightly, cover and refrigerate up to 7 days.
Take the potatoes out of the refrigerator about 3 1/2 hours before you plan to serve them. Cook on low heat for 3 hours, stirring once or twice.
Crockpot Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes Video
I made a short video demonstrating the steps for these easy make-ahead crockpot mashed potatoes. For the video, I used thin-skinned red potatoes for color, so no peeling! See what you think!
Common Questions About Crockpot Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
How do you reheat mashed potatoes and make them creamy?
Reheating mashed potatoes and making them creamy using a crockpot is a convenient and hands-off method. It’s my favorite way to reheat mashed potatoes when I’m not in a hurry because it saves oven or stovetop space. If you are reheating a large quantity of mashed potatoes and have 2-3 hours before the meal, the crock pot is the way to go. Just follow the simple instructions in this recipe for make-ahead crock pot mashed potatoes, and you will have creamy, warm mashed potatoes ready to be served in a few hours. Just remember these tips:
Cover the crockpot with its lid.
Set the crockpot to the “Low” heat setting.
Allow the mashed potatoes to heat and become creamy slowly over the course of 2-3 hours. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating and to incorporate the butter and liquid into the potatoes.
Check the consistency of the mashed potatoes. If they seem too thick or dry, you can add more milk or cream and stir until you reach your desired creaminess. Continue to heat as needed.
Once the mashed potatoes are heated through and creamy, you can switch the crockpot to the “Warm” setting to keep them at a serving temperature until you’re ready to enjoy. Using a crockpot to reheat mashed potatoes is a great option for keeping them warm and creamy, especially if you’re serving a large group or need to prepare them ahead of time for a holiday meal or gathering.
See how creamy these crock pot mashed potatoes are when served on a plate. Top with additional butter for an even more decadent mashed potato experience.
What’s the best way to reheat mashed potatoes?
Using a crockpot to reheat mashed potatoes is a great option for keeping them warm and creamy, especially if you’re serving a large group or need to prepare them ahead of time for a holiday meal or gathering. If you are reheating just a small amount of mashed potatoes, then the stovetop or microwave will work just fine, but for a large quantity, I definitely prefer the slow cooker to reheat this make ahead mashed potato recipe. Reheating mashed potatoes in the crock pot has saved me from stress many times.
Can you reheat mashed potatoes in a crock pot?
If you have a creamy enough consistency, as with the crock pot make-ahead mashed potatoes in this recipe, the mashed potatoes will heat through nicely. Just remember to keep the heat on the low setting, and if the mashed potatoes begin to bubble around the edges, turn the heat down to warm.
How long does it take to reheat mashed potatoes in a slow cooker?
It takes about 3 hours on low. Sometimes you have to turn the heat down to warm so the edges don’t get too cooked. Stirring once or twice can help with this.
Can you put mashed potatoes in a crockpot to keep them warm?
If you try to keep regular mashed potatoes warm in a crockpot, they might not be smooth and creamy. With this easy crockpot mashed potatoes recipe, even after heating for 3 hours, they can be kept warm and held for an additional 30 minutes or more. How do restaurants keep mashed potatoes warm? One of the most widely-used ways is by using a crock pot!
Additional Tips For Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Can You Make These Crock Pot Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes Without a Crock Pot?
You certainly can! If you do not have a crock pot. you could put the potatoes in a greased 9-by-13-inch casserole and take them out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes or until steaming hot in the center.
I prefer the crock pot method because when a holiday meal is being prepared, the oven is often already in use. Also, please don’t be put off by the fact that you have to separate eggs for this recipe. I have a handy little egg separator I use for this task, and it works like a charm.
Crockpot Make-Ahead Mashed Potato Variations
Looking for ways to give your crockpot make-ahead mashed potatoes a creative, unique twist? Here are some ideas:
Parmesan crockpot make-ahead mashed potatoes: Simply add a tablespoon or two of grated parmesan cheese and you’re set. Sprinkle in some Italian seasonings to take the flavor up a notch.
Garlic rosemary crockpot make-ahead mashed potatoes: Increase the garlic powder from two teaspoons to three, then add in a teaspoon or two of dried rosemary. Yum!
Cheddar bacon crockpot make-ahead mashed potatoes: Mix in half a cup of bacon pieces along with the cream cheese and sour cream when putting the potatoes together in the crockpot. During the last half hour the potatoes are cooking in the crockpot, sprinkle a half-cup of shredded cheddar cheese on top. Delicious!
If you have success with other variations, it would be fun to know about your experience. Feel free to let me know, and I’ll add the idea with a mention right here. I’m always open to new mashed potato combinations!
How do You Use Leftover Mashed Potatoes?
If you end up with quite a few leftover mashed potatoes from this crockpot mashed potatoes recipe, there are many ways to use them. One of my favorite ways is to use as a topping for shepherd’s pie or Leftover Turkey Pot Pie. Instead of serving Easy Cola Chicken over rice, serve it over mashed potatoes. There are many possibilities!
Crockpot Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
- 6-quart crock pot
- 5 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 6 ounces light or regular cream cheese
- 1 cup light or regular sour cream
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder or onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
- Cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling water until tender, about 20 minutes.
- Drain and mash using your favorite added ingredients. Some people add milk, some add chicken stock. I like to reserve the potato water and put in powdered, fat-free milk.
- When there are no remaining lumps, add cream cheese, sour cream, onion powder or garlic powder, salt, pepper and egg whites. Blend well.
- Take the potatoes out of the refrigerator about 3 1/2 hours before you plan to serve them. Cook on low heat for 3 hours, stirring once or twice.
Other Holiday Recipes You Might Enjoy
If you are a fan of easy recipes, especially special ones for the holidays, here are some other ideas. Any seafood lovers in your crowd? Try serving this special side dish: Crowd-Pleasing Seafood Salad. If you need some ideas for using holiday leftovers, consider making Easy Curried Turkey , which is great for using up leftover turkey. Another terrific option is Leftover Turkey Pot Pie. Not into making a complicated crust for the top? No worries! There are many easy topping variations for this version of turkey pot pie (see the previous paragraph). I’m into low-stress, no-fuss recipes, remember?
What’s Your Favorite Holiday Meal Shortcut?
Do you have a favorite holiday meal shortcut you would like to share? I’d be happy to learn about it, because I’m all about simplifying holiday meals so that time can be spent visiting with guests. It’s nice to be able to be a relaxed host.
More Food Inspiration
Are you now craving crockpot make-ahead mashed potatoes? Thinking of making this crock pot recipe into your side dish rotation? It’s always nice to have a plan when it comes to meals or parties. If you’re looking for a way to get more organized with your meal or party-planning efforts, I’ve got something for you. Free, editable meal planners! The templates can be used over and over, as often as you need them. You can make as many duplicates as you like, and you’ll be able to save old meal or party food plans for future reference. I hope it simplifies things for you.
I hope you get to try this fabulously easy recipe for crockpot make-ahead mashed potatoes. If you would like even more recipe ideas, consider following my Easy Recipes board on Pinterest. Here’s to making wonderful, stress-free meals!
Lisa Mitchell is a wife, mom, and school librarian who likes to create and share recipes, often using fresh ingredients from her family’s small Pacific Northwest farm. To learn more about what this website has to offer, click on over to the Welcome page.
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